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Immigration in the Electoral Rhetoric of the Americas

Immigration et rhétoriques électorales dans les Amériques

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Published on Friday, December 11, 2015 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

While immigration has always been an important issue in the election debates, the current centrality of this topic invite us to question its rhetoric power (evocative terms, objectives pursued, instrumental efficiency…). Beyond the political scenes of Canada and United States (main arenas), will also be considered critical readings of electoral experiences in the Latin-American political world. This workshop will aim to shed the light on this matter in order to question (through politics, sociology, economics, law, history…) the reminiscence of what seems to be a modern form of identity resurgence in a specific framework: the electoral arena campaign, a real national trajectory catalyst.

Announcement

Argument

Immigration as a structural element of the election debate

“Inflamed rhetoric”, “immigrant-bashing rhetoric”, “anti-immigrant rhetoric”… For almost a year, qualifiers emerged to define the discourse established by Donald Trump in his race to win the Republican primary race. His recent declarations about illegal Latino-American immigrants entering the United States, seemed to have created a structural immigration phenomenon in the electoral debate. The most visible Republican candidate, already built the electoral rhetoric on the model of an under siege fortress. He also made immigration a pillar of his program alongside with fiscal reform and strong defense of the second amendment of the US Constitution. Echoing from Trump discourse, Hilary Clinton’s positions or oppositions on the subject, have a tendency to crystallize the immigration rhetoric as a primary stake in the 2016 Presidential bid. Speaking about his opponent, Mrs. Clinton responded by the “path to citizenship”, which involves the conditional massive regularization of the immigrant’s status. Finally, the US electoral context, serves the purpose of strengthening the feeling that the immigration policy, partly because of the media frenzy, now beyond the mere political point of the political cleavage, it is becoming a key stake in the American electoral debate.

The retrospective offered by the Canadian elections of October 19th, could prove to be potentially very instructive. The immigration debate was brought to the front line of the problematic structuring the national debate. Over the course of the summer agenda, multiple components (European migration phenomenon, pictures of Aylan Kurdi, Federal Appeal Court decision of September 2015, etc.) have gradually created a crystallization of the matter in the primaries campaign. In a relatively short period of time, the immigration and identity debate became “the” stake of the campaign, at least for a few weeks, which was outcry by some candidates, but it reflected in the polls during the last weeks of the campaign. Strategic evolution as well as electoral results of the October 19th, 2015 elections, have been interpreted as a form of collective response, certainly relative, with stakes revealed. Ultimate symbol, ostentatiously assumed as a response to polemics that characterized the electoral campaign, Justin Trudeau, concluded the Canadian campaign on these words: “[y]ou and your fellow citizens have chosen a new government, a government who believes deeply in the diversity of our country. We know in our bones that Canada was built by people from all corners of the world, who worship every faith, who belong to every culture, who speak every language. […] We know that our inviable, inclusive society didn’t happen by accident and won’t continue without effort. I’ve always known this, Canadians know it too. If not, I might have spoken earlier this evening and have given a very different speech”. 

Elsewhere, in Americas, migratory and immigration debates are in the frontline too. That’s for instance the case of Dominican Republic and stateless persons from Haiti as well as the massive immigration of Mexican and Central American people.

Goals of the workshop

At the heart of this media frenzy, the workshop goals are to contribute to the emergence of possible leads, and to build paths in order to scientifically decrypt these electoral rhetoric. Beyond, Canadian and American arenas, Central American, South American and Caribbean lectures which are also registering in the general theme of the workshop, will be considered. While they will bring heterogeneity, parallel and cross discourses and experiences, will definitely contribute as major assets of the workshop.

To achieve the goals, four main axis have been privileged:

  • Contextual and retrospective historic
  • Critical test speech
  • Latino-American and Caribbean migratory crisis
  • American elections

Thus, this workshop will aim to shed the light on this matter in order to question (through politics, sociology, economics, law, history…) the reminiscence of what seems to be a modern form of identity resurgence in a specific framework: the electoral arena campaign, a real national trajectory catalyst.

Schedule

  • March 1st, 2016 : deadline to submit paper, in the form of an abstract (2 000 to 4 000 characters) ;

  • March 14th, 2016 : final selection and response to participants ;
  • May 9th, 2016 : Deadline to submit papers in the form of an article (30 000 to 40 000 characters) ;
  • Monday May 16th, 2016 : networking dinner (Quebec Culinary Institute of Montreal) ;
  • Tuesday May 17th, 2016: Workshop (Longueuil Campus, University of Sherbrooke).

Scientific committee

  • Hugo Loiseau, Associate Professor, École de politique appliquée, Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines, Université de Sherbrooke ;
  • Mathieu Arès, Assistant Professor, École de politique appliquée, Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines, Université de Sherbrooke ;
  • Victor Armony, Professor, Sociology Department, Faculté des sciences humaines, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Isabelle Vagnoux, Professeure, LERMA, Aix-Marseille Université et Institut des Amériques.

Organization committee

  • Yves Charron, coordonnateur de l’Observatoire des Amériques ;
  • Robin Médard, coordonnateur du pôle Canada de l’Institut des Amériques.

Places

  • Campus Longueuil de l'Université de Sherbrooke, 150 place Charles-Le Moyne
    Montreal, Canada

Date(s)

  • Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Keywords

  • éléction, immigration, migration, débat politique, campagne électorale

Contact(s)

  • ROBIN MEDARD
    courriel : robinmedard [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • ROBIN MEDARD
    courriel : robinmedard [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Immigration in the Electoral Rhetoric of the Americas », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, December 11, 2015, https://calenda.org/350478

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